When Subway introduced final yr that it will be eradicating pre-sliced meat from its meeting line and adding automatic deli slicers to its greater than 20,000 places, the intention was to enhance the chain’s total sandwich high quality. Simply six months after this systemwide change, nonetheless, Restaurant Enterprise stories Subway’s on-site deli slicers are not having the intended effect, and may even be hurting franchise places.

Subway first introduced the rollout of the deli slicers in February 2023, and by July 2023, the vast majority of its eating places have been utilizing the brand new machines. The model was assured this gear improve would result in higher high quality sandwiches that might entice extra prospects.

“We have been one of many few, if solely, sub store that didn’t slice in restaurant,” Subway CEO John Chidsey instructed CNN on the time of the announcement. “Not solely does it give the visitor a greater notion of seeing the good, fluffy meat, however we save some huge cash since we have been paying some huge cash to have it sliced upstream.”

Subway deli slicers haven’t improved sandwich high quality

The upgraded sandwiches haven’t appeared to make the splash that Chidsey hoped they’d, at the very least not in accordance with franchisees.

“We haven’t seen any knowledge that claims these slicers have pushed gross sales, pushed buyer counts or profitability,” Invoice Mathis, a Minnesota Subway franchisee, instructed Restaurant Enterprise on a recent podcast episode.

To showcase the capabilities of the brand new gear, Subway launched a lineup of choices known as Deli Heroes that even featured additional meat to point out off the prowess of the slicers. The Takeout conducted its own taste test of the sandwiches made with freshly sliced meat and located them to be nothing wanting unusual. Actually, we’d be arduous pressed to say there was any detectable distinction between the pre-sliced meats and the brand new in-restaurant cuts.

The Washington Submit also reviewed the Deli Heroes and located new meats to be hit and miss, just about indiscernible from the pre-sliced meats beforehand provided at Subway. The slicers don’t alter the client expertise in any notable means, however as an alternative function a means for the model to catch as much as what others within the trade are already doing.

Subway’s deli slicers are costing eating places cash

Subway has acknowledged some franchisees instructed the corporate the slicers are simple to make use of, and that the machines streamline the labor beforehand wanted to arrange the meats; the corporate expects franchisees will see long-term financial savings as a result of the extra pricey pre-sliced meat gained’t must be ordered anymore. The corporate additionally notes the gear was added to eating places for gratis to the franchisees.

Nonetheless, Mathis, the Minnesota franchisee, argues the slicers trigger extra meals waste, since you may’t slice all the best way to the ends of the meat. He additionally notes that the slicing leads to extra work put upon staff, and in attempting to slice sufficient for rush intervals, some meats may sit out too lengthy and must be discarded.

“Typically we now have to slice a lot at a time, decrease quantity shops might must throw away product earlier than the shelf life is up, which we encourage everyone to do as a result of we wish to serve the most effective product obtainable,” Mathis instructed Restaurant Enterprise.

Subway employees on Reddit have echoed these sentiments. Some level out that cleansing the slicer gear results in much more work than earlier than.

“IMO as a franchisee since 2008, it’s a silly waste of time that isn’t saving me any cash, however does take up my staff time like no different,” commented one Reddit user in a thread in regards to the slicers. “Additionally I take my candy time cleansing the shit out of that slicer on a regular basis to keep away from micro organism construct up, however primarily based on what I find out about this manufacturers high quality requirements, I’d wager numerous slicers aren’t as clear as they need to be.”

Subway has famous the slicers are nonetheless very new to its eating places’ operations. However as some franchisees have seen, “fluffy meat” won’t be the most effective technique for the model, regardless of how a lot Subway may need it to be.

This article originally appeared on The Takeout.


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